USC Gamecocks Football

Houston sends message it wants to keep Tom Herman

Houston head coach Tom Herman
Houston head coach Tom Herman AP

The University of Houston has offered to more than double the salary of head coach Tom Herman, sending a message to suitors that could include South Carolina that the Cougars are working hard to keep their coach.

“We’re going to make it really hard for him to choose to go to another institution,” Houston athletics director Hunter Yurachek told the Houston Chronicle after the school’s board of regents met Thursday. “It was important to send statement that UH doesn't need to be stepping stone for coaches but rather destination. Coach Herman is one of hottest coaches in country. He is a hot commodity. We want him to be our hot commodity.”

Herman, who is 10-0 and has the Cougars ranked No. 13 in the nation in his first year, makes $1.35 million this year. Houston’s board of regents approved the athletic department’s plan to increase that to at least $3 million, although regents chairman Tillman Fertitta told the Chronicle that number is just a “starting point.”

“We will give as many years as we can give him. We want Tom Herman to be football coach here for many years,” Fertitta told the Chronicle. “We’ll take it up every year. We want to lock him into a long-term contact.”

Herman’s success at Houston has made him a hot target for many schools that have an opening, including the Gamecocks. Along with being a candidate at South Carolina, Herman has been linked to openings at Missouri, Maryland, Miami and Southern Cal as well.

Steve Spurrier made $4 million annually in his final year as South Carolina’s coach. A deal of $3 million per year would rank 13th in the SEC.

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